As the propagation columnist for several amateur radio magazines, I hear from a diverse group of interested people that find space weather and the propagation of radio waves fascinating. I admit: I am a space weather and radio propagation nut, and it is always good to correspond or meet with other interested folks. This is an aspect of our hobby that never grows old, as there is so much that we don’t yet know–we communicators are in a perfect space to make discovery and to make improvements to our understanding of this science. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot from readers of my columns, expressing their fascination with the science of radio and solar phenomenon.
Are you interested in learning about the Sun and the Sun-Earth connection (space weather), including topics of sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and so on? Do you want to delve deeper into topics including the ionosphere, the magnetosphere, and how radio waves propagate from transmitter to receiver?
You might consider a time-proven “course”–material that is very comprehensive–that you can self-study, to become well-versed in this information. The course (one that has been used in professional disciplines) is offered either stand-alone, or bundled with the ray-tracing PropLab PRO software.
Some may say, “But, I like the magic of just getting on the air and trying my luck! If I learn all this stuff, then it becomes science, and not a hobby.” It is true that there’s a joy at being dazzled with the magic of radio; buy a super cool transceiver, and a factory-made antenna with coax already fitted with connectors, adding the necessary accessories to make it come alive, then begin exploring the shortwave frequencies. Magical, indeed! But, there are many in the hobby that wish to learn how all of that works. Some even begin learning how to build antennas, radio kits, and discover the joy of the “science” of radio. A few eventually take the step with gained “scientific” knowledge of electronics, and they design and build equipment for their hobby. The course is part of that mix: learning how the Sun affects getting a radio signal from point A to point B, and how to leverage their time and efforts, is a joy, indeed.
Interested? Here’s the web page: http://hfradio.org/swp_course/
If any disclosure is necessary, here you go: The proceeds from a purchase of this course go to the funds I use to keep cw.HFRadio.org, swl.HFRadio.org, and other resources at HFRadio.org, plus http://SunSpotWatch.com up and running. There are monthly fees, yearly fees, and software licensing to cover, as well as the purchase of hardware from time to time. These operating and maintenance funds are mostly covered by me, Tomas, NW7US, out of my personal funds. Any donations and sales helps out. Haters and Hecklers can send their comments to the bit bucket.
73 de NW7US